Dust & Smoke Detection with MSG SEVIRI RGB Products

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The first part of the lecture introduces the MSG channels, in particular the IR window channels, and presents how dust can be detected in these channels.

Published: 22 November 2011

It addresses the principle of reverse absorption (IR10.8 and IR12.0 channels) for dust clouds as compared to ice clouds as well as the differences in desert emissivity between IR10.8 and IR8.7. A special section is dedicated to the discrimination of smoke from dust.

The second part of the lecture focuses on the Dust RGB product, which combines three IR window channels: IR8.7, IR10.8 and IR12.0. The colours of dust clouds and desert surfaces (and the differences between day and night) are explained. Particular attention is given to the height estimation of dust clouds. Finally, several other applications of the Dust RGB product like cloud phase and cloud thickness are discussed.

At the end of this lecture you should be able to do:

  • identify dust clouds in Dust RGB products;
  • understand the reason why dust is magenta in the Dust RGB product;
  • identify different magenta shades for exploring dust level in the Dust RGB product;
  • get acquainted to the principle of reverse absorption with IR10.8 and IR12.0 channels;
  • realise the impact of the desert emissivity and temperature in RGB products;
  • learn what other colours in the Dust RGB product mean.

Pre-requisite: some knowledge in infra-red and visible satellite imagery.

Category Language Difficulty Audio Duration Author
Atmosphere English Intermediate   90 min Jochen Kerkmann


Dust & Smoke Detection with MSG SEVIRI RGB Products presentation (ZIP, 25 MB)

Operational Use of RGB Products (EUMeTrain)



I.M. Lensky and D. Rosenfeld, 2008: Clouds - Aerosols - Precipitation Satellite Analysis Tool (CAPSAT). Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 6739–6753

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